Monthly Archives: November 2012

Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws: Gay San Francisco, 1985-1988

For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

November 27, 2012

Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws: Gay San Francisco, 1985-1988

Exhibition on View in the San Francisco Main Library, Jewett Gallery,

December 1, 2012 – February 10, 2013

An exhibition of photographs by Thomas Alleman that celebrate San Francisco’s gay community in the mid-1980s, will be on view on the San Francisco Main Library’s Jewett Gallery, beginning Saturday, Dec. 1.  The Library is located at 100 Larkin St. in San Francisco’s Civic Center.

Image of man in costumeAlleman’s photographs show a moment in San Francisco’s social history when the first wave of the AIDS epidemic crashed onto the Castro, one of the country’s most vibrant neighborhoods. While the community convulsed with well-earned fear, heartbreak and anger, some people still found the courage and the will to celebrate the dream of a life they’d come to find in San Francisco.

This exhibition, Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws: Gay San Francisco, 1985-1988, chronicles a blizzard of protests, demonstrations, vigils, marches and sit-ins, as the community struggled for social and political recognition of the AIDS crisis. Alleman photographed groundbreaking gay candidates for public office who sought change from inside “the system,” as well as street-level activists whose proud, queer anger drove them to hector that system from the outside.

The exhibition also shows people who embraced life in the Castro with a shimmy and a bounce and with life-affirming joy in bars, discos and on street corners. Alleman photographed parties and bar scenes, drag shows and Halloween evenings, and the artists who were creating a home-grown, alternate gay culture. Here are intimate portraits of writers, dancers, directors, painters, and actors as they danced in the “dragon’s jaws.”

Related programs:

Meet the Artist: Thomas Alleman – Dec. 1, 2 p.m., Main Library, Lower Level, Latino/Hispanic Community Room

Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws: SF Gay Culture in the 1980s – Panel Discussion. Jan. 23, 6 pm., Main Library, Lower Level, Latino/Hispanic Community Room.

President Obama Appoints Luis Herrera To Serve on the National Museum and Library Services Board

November 16, 2012

President Obama Appoints Luis Herrera To Serve on the
National Museum and Library Services Board


IMLS Press Contacts
Giuliana Bullard,
Mamie Bittner,

Washington, DCCity Librarian Luis HerreraYesterday, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg administered the oath of office, officially swearing in eight new members of the National Museum and Library Services Board appointed by President Barack Obama.  The board is the advisory body for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Members of the board are selected to serve based on their expertise and commitment to libraries or museums.

IMLS Director Susan Hildreth said, “I am delighted to welcome Mr. Luis Herrera to the board. Through his service he will help libraries and museums throughout the United States contribute to the educational, cultural and civic life of our nation.  Mr. Herrera is a well-recognized expert and we are looking forward to having his strategic advice to strengthen IMLS’s grant making, research and policy advisory roles.”

Luis Herrera is the City Librarian of the San Francisco Public Library, where he is responsible for the administration of the city’s 28 libraries. Previously, Mr. Herrera served as the Director of Information Services for Pasadena Public Library, the Deputy Director of the San Diego Public Library, and Associate Director of the Long Beach Public Library in California. In January 2012, Mr. Herrera was named the Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year. Mr. Herrera serves as Chair of the California Council for Humanities and was appointed to serve on the Steering Committee for the Digital Public Library of America in 2011. He served on the Library Advisory Board of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation from 1998 to 2002. Mr. Herrera earned a B.S. from the University of Texas at El Paso, an M.L.S. from the University of Arizona, and an M.P.A. from California State University.

For more information about the National Museum and Library Services Board visit the Institute’s Web site at

About the National Museum and Library Services Board

The National Museum and Library Services Board is an advisory body that includes the director and deputy directors of Institute of Museum and Library Service and twenty presidentially appointed members of the general public who have demonstrated expertise in, or commitment to, library or museum services. Informed by its collectively vast experience and knowledge, the Board advises the IMLS director on general policy and practices, and on selections for the National Medals for Museum and Library Service.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.  Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive.  Follow us on Twitter @US_IMLS

2 Million Books in 20 Years

Children’s Book Project Marks 2 Decades

San Francisco, 15 November 2012 – The San Francisco non-profit The Children’s Book Project celebrates 20 years of giving away free books to the underserved. That’s 2 MILLION BOOKS in two decades. A celebration will be held on Wednesday December 5th at the Latino/Hispanic Meeting Rooms at San Francisco Public Library from 5:30 pm.

Lisa Bishop is a teacher-librarian at Flynn Elementary School, part of the San Francisco Unified School District. She’s been receiving books from Children’s Book Project since it started twenty years ago and is passionate about the work that Pollack and others are doing to promote childhood literacy. “It’s an overhwelming feelings for a child to have a new book. To have a book that they can choose for themselves and keep for themselves. Free books are like the greatest candy bar. Plus you’re creating a society that is literate. A democratic society.” says Bishop.

The Children’s Book Project was founded by Vicky Pollack to help build literacy by providing free, new and gently used books to children who need them. Recipients of free books and educational materials include teachers, social workers, librarians and neighborhood drop-in centers.

Some facts:

  • Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are 3-4 times more likely to drop out in later years.
  • 1 in 5 high school graduates cannot read their diplomas.
  • 21 million Americans cannot read.

The Children’s Book Project is a non-profit, 501c(3) that relies entirely on donations. It works to help disadvantaged children learn to read by providing children and their shelters, schools, daycare and community centers with books and other resources. Since its beginning in January 1992, the Children’s Book Project has given over 2 million free books to hundreds of facilities serving thousands of children throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. CBP is part of the umbrella organization, First Book San Francisco, working together to provide literacy materials and books to the underserved in the SF Bay area.

For more information about The Children’s Book Project, please contact Vicki Pollack or Kathy Katz at 415-401-6315

For more information on the 20th Anniversary event, or First Book San Francisco please contact Michelle Smith, 415-900-6657.

Winning Designs Announced For New Library Cards

For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

November 8, 2012

Winning Designs Announced For New San Francisco Public Library Cards

The Mayor’s Office and San Francisco Public Library are thrilled to present the five winning artwork designs in the Library Card Design Contest. The winning card designs feature penguins, butterflies, rays of sunshine, a fox, and the transformative joy of reading books.

Some 3,500 designs were submitted to the ImproveSF contest in September and October, then winnowed to 10 in each of five age/grade categories by a panel of judges. The finalists were then subject to public voting at After tallying more than 14,000 interactions, five creative, colorful and powerful designs received the most votes.

“ImproveSF challenges allow San Franciscans of all ages and from every corner of the City to collaborate and innovate with City government,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “We are harnessing the passion and creativity of our residents to improve city services for everyone.”

“It was great to see such an amazing array of wonderful artwork from all ages, created by our extremely talented community. We can’t wait to see these designs gracing our library cards next year for San Franciscans to choose from, “ said City Librarian Luis Herrera. “Having a library card empowers our users to be life-long learners and readers.”

2nd Grade & Under Winner: Abigail Cheng, Hamlin School

Title:  Imagine the Possibilities

Description:Imagine the Possibilities I am a 2nd grader who loves to read all types of books. I thought about how reading affects me. When I read, I am able to imagine myself in the stories that have been created. I feel all sorts of emotions through reading – happiness, sadness, anxiousness, etc. I am able to imagine all sorts of possibilities for myself through these different writings. Reading builds my imagination. Being free to imagine gives me the power to believe in myself and what I am able to achieve.

3rd through 5th Grade Winner: Amelia Fortgang, Marin Country Day School

Title:  Penguins Love Books Too

Description:Penguins Love Books Too My drawing shows books can be quite funny and penguins can be too. I think this design should be a library card because people who like floppy penguins and like to read books will enjoy this card.

Middle School Winner: Maya Winshell, Live Oak School

Title:  Living Guide to Butterflies

Description:  Living Guide to ButterfliesIt’s a representation of how books bring stories to life.

High School Winner: Lori Chinn, Lowell High School

Title:  Ray of Sunshine

Description: Ray of Sunshine Reading makes me happy. Whatever I’m feeling, opening a book can make that day even better. Just like a sunny day in San Francisco.

Adult Winner: Jonathan Silence

Title:  Storyteller

Description:  StorytellerThe Light of the World. The watercolor submission simply wants to convey a feeling. It’s inspired by a close friend and writer from the bay area

ImproveSF is a citywide program that generates opportunities for the City and Country of San Francisco and its residents to work together via online community challenges voted on by the public.

The five winning designs will be featured on new San Francisco library cards issued in 2013. There are more than 400,000 San Francisco library cards in active circulation. San Francisco Public Library issues about 60,000 new cards each year.

Community and City Officials Break Ground for New North Beach Branch Library


Nov. 3, 2012

Community and City Officials Break Ground for

New North Beach Branch Library

The North Beach neighborhood is celebrating the groundbreaking of the new North Beach Branch Library at the corner of Columbus Avenue and Lombard Street. The former parking lot site will soon be home to a new seismically safe and accessible library that is 60 percent larger than the old North Beach Branch Library, and a new plaza that will integrate the Library into a larger, greener Joe DiMaggio Playground.

A groundbreaking celebration was held Saturday, Nov. 3 with musical performances including Mal Sharpe and Big Money in Jazz and the St. Mary’s Drum and Bell Corps and poetry with former San Francisco Poet Laureate Jack Hirschman. Mayor Ed Lee, Supervisors David Chiu and Scott Wiener, City Librarian Luis Herrera, San Francisco Department of Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru and San Francisco Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg were are among the city and state officials at the groundbreaking.

“This long-awaited library project is the result of widespread support and collaboration among the community and city agencies, including the San Francisco Public Library, the Department of Public Works and the Recreation and Parks Department,” said Mayor Lee. “We are thrilled to finally break ground on this former parking lot and pave the way to a new, improved and state of the art 21stcentury library that will serve residents, children and families from North Beach, to Chinatown, to neighborhoods all across our City.”

“It is with great anticipation that we break ground on the 24th and final library project in the voter-approved Branch Library Improvement Program,” said City Librarian Luis Herrera. “We appreciate the great support of this community and are pleased to be moving forward to provide the residents of North Beach, Chinatown, Russian Hill and the northern waterfront with the kind of Library building and services they so richly deserve including expanded technology resources, larger collections in multiple languages and a community room for all.”

“Special thanks goes to the community for their patience and perseverance,” said Department of Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru.  “They’ve waited a long time for this new library and we’re excited to build them a beautiful, sustainable, and seismically strong library for families and neighbors to use and enjoy for many more years to come.”

“Playgrounds and libraries located next to each other create an enriching environment for our children’s physical and mental health development,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Recreation and Parks General Manager.  “Together, as we have done with West Sunset Playground and Ortega Public Library where we provide a place to play and learning space that is clean and safe, now we are going to do the same with Joe DiMaggio Playground and North Beach Library in North Beach.”

The North Beach Branch Library will be built “green” and is designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification or greater from the U.S. Green Building Council. The library will also include a public art feature, a sound installation created by artist Bill Fontana.

The 8,500 square-foot, two-story building planned for the site will include a community room with after-hours access for neighborhood meetings; a larger children’s area and new teen space; additional public computers; new furniture and equipment; and an expanded collection of books, DVDs, and CDs, including more materials in multiple languages to meet the community’s needs.

The construction of the North Beach Branch Library is funded by a bond measure passed by San Francisco voters in 2000. North Beach is the 24th library in the Branch Library Improvement Program. The library will include new furniture, fixtures and equipment. Friends of the San Francisco Public Library is raising funds from private donations to pay for these items. To get involved in the North Beach neighborhood campaign, please contact For more information about San Francisco Public Library, please call (415) 557-4277, or visit



Michelle Jeffers, SFPL

(415) 608-1593;

Mindy Linetzy, DPW

(415) 218-6383;

Connie Chan, RPD

(415) 831-2796;

North Beach Library Breaks Ground on New Building

MEDIA CONTACT:  Michelle Jeffers, (415) 557-4282; (415) 608-1593;


Invitation to Cover/Photo Opportunity

North Beach Branch Library Breaks Ground on New Building

WHAT: Mayor Edwin Lee, Supervisor David Chiu, City Librarian Luis Herrera and other officials break ground for the new North Beach Branch Library.

WHEN: Saturday, November 3, 2012, 11 a.m-1 p.m. (speeches to begin 11:30 a.m.)

WHERE: Columbus Avenue and Lombard Street (triangle lot)

WHO: Remarks by:

  • Mayor Edwin M. Lee
  • City Librarian Luis Herrera
  • Supervisor David Chiu
  • Mohammed Nuru, Department of Public Works
  • Phil Ginsburg, Recreation and Parks Department
  • Jewelle Gomez, San Francisco Public Library Commission
  • Scott Staub, Executive Director, Friends of the San Francisco Public Library
  • Julie Christensen, Friends of Joe DiMaggio Playground
  • Rev. Norman Fong

PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES: Mal Sharp band; Beach Blanket Babylon performers; other musical entertainment; dignitaries with shovels; North Beach families celebrating new library project.

WHAT: The construction of the new North Beach Branch Library is part of the Branch Library Improvement Program (BLIP), which is funded by a $106 million bond measure to upgrade or replace the city’s branch libraries. A separate fundraising campaign by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library will provide new furniture and equipment for the new library. The new North Beach library is being rebuilt as a world-class library with separate children, adult, & teen areas; a large program room; public art; and space to provide expanded library collections, technology and services to the community. Designed by Leddy, Maytum, Stacy Architects and constructed by CLW Builders, this 8,500-square-foot building will provide a seismically safe, universally accessible and environmentally sustainable library facility.

Building Better Libraries for Stronger Communities!